Saturday, July 23, 2011

Step out of your comfort zone for Christ!!!

I just watched a video of our Pastor and his children skating at Skate America. The love that our Pastor shows for his children and the willingness he has to learn new things is commendable!!
Our heavenly Father has such great love for each and every one of us!!! When the "Waters" seem roaring in our lives, and we don't want to step out of our comfort zone, we must keep our eyes on our Heavenly Father and do His will
I am sure skating was probably out of our Pastor's "comfort zone," but he was willing to do it, because he loves his children. Are we willing to step out of our "comfort zone" and do the will of God? Is God calling you to teach a S. S. class, witness, be an encourager, or a prayer warrior? God wants willing servants! Are you willing to step out in faith?
Scripture Texts: John 3:16, Romans 5:8, Mark 3:35, Eph. 6:6, and Luke 17:5

"What kind of fragrance are you putting out?"

As I was cleaning out the old fragrances from my scentsy holders, and putting in the new fragrances, these scriptures came to mind.
2 Cor. 2:14-16: "But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things?
(Paul was thankful for the privilege of pleasing God. Whenever God's servants are faithful and are an influence for the gospel, God is pleased. No one is adequate in his own strength or competent to serve God in the ways and with the power that Paul had been describing. God alone, is our strength!)
Another scripture brought to my mind on aroma: Eph. 5:2,
"...walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself us for us, and offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma."
(Christ's offering of Himself for fallen man pleased and glorified His heavenly Father, because it demonstrated in the most complete and perfect way God's sovereign, perfect, unconditional, and divine kind of love.)
How's your fragrance for Christ today?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Author

Hebrew 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith...

How often do we look at our life and think that things could be better if we did things differently. Often times not even consulting God on our decision - but rather doing what we consider the best option for us.

This verse speaks of the fact that Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. He set out a redemptive plan that includes a new life in him. He is the one who has written our story before the beginning of time. Like any good author of this world Jesus has carefully written our stories, following us through hardship, heartbreak, joy, and forgiveness to the end of our story. Unfortunately along the way we often decide we do not like the story that is laid out before us. And not knowing the ultimate outcome we decide to re-write certain parts. Ripping the pen and paper from the master author's hand and handing it over to the world or the enemy to write out a part of our story. In this we shortcut the beauty of the story the master author has before hand laid out. We miss the designed story he has for us and ultimately miss some of the blessings that were set out for our lives. During this time the Author of Salvation stands at our side ready to take over our story when we decide to trust him with it again.

Think back on the last good novel you read. The earthly author lovingly unfolded a story that surrounded major characters. The author laid out the details and through the story the reader follows as the character goes through trials and hardships, triumphs and defeats and ultimately the ending is good - though granted sometimes sad. But in the end we see that the story laid out shines brightly and we at the end have a connection to those involved.

In much the same way our story is written out by The Author of Salvation - and he has made one for each of us that will ultimately shape us into an image of Him. We must therefor trust our story in the hands of the Author of Salvation even in the times that we do not fully understand our story. We must trust him in the times of heartbreak and trials that he is working out a greater purpose. We must give him the thanks for the times of joy when all works out. We must commit to leave the pen in the hands of the Author who has our best intent in His heart. The one who said that He knows the thoughts he thinks toward of us and they are of peace and an expected end.

My hope is that at the end, my story is one that is captivating because the Author of Salvation shines through on each page. May this also be your endeavor as you seek God's will - trust His authorship in your life and know that He is writing a beautiful story across the years of your life. Let Him shine on each page.